Just when you thought you were in control. A meteorite hit Russia during the early hours of the morning and multiple video cameras caught the fast-moving object as it flew over the Russian Urals and exploded.
Update: This morning just after the 7 a.m. ET, the top-of-the-hour news on the Today Show had this story. Does NBC deserve the “stupid caption of the week” award?
Could the same thing happen here?
Who writes the news tease captions at NBC? That’s a question a first grader would ask, so maybe NBC is targeting that particular audience.
Update 2: A video of the multiple sonic booms.
Anyway, from RT.com.
Army units found three meteorite debris impact sites, two of which are in an area near Chebarkul Lake, west of Chelyabinsk. The third site was found some 80 kilometers further to the northwest, near the town of Zlatoust. One of the fragments that struck near Chebarkul left a crater six meters in diameter.
Servicemembers from the tank brigade that found the crater have confirmed that background radiation levels at the site are normal.
Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite:
“According to preliminary estimates, this space object is of non-technogenic origin and qualifies as a meteorite. It was moving at a low trajectory with a speed of about 30 km/s.”
According to estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the space object weighed about 10 tons before entering Earth’s atmosphere.
As of 15:00 Moscow time, 725 people have sought medical attention in Chelyabinsk alone because of the disaster, 112 of whom have been hospitalized, of them two in heavy condition. Among the injured there are 159 children, Emergency ministry reported.
The article includes something I think to be incredible, but certainly very interesting if there is any truth to it.
According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers, local newspaper Znak reports quoting a source in the military.
Regnum news agency quoted a military source who claimed that the vapor condensation trail of the meteorite speaks to the fact that the meteorite was intercepted by air defenses.